The Cleveland Cavaliers have gone from petty contenders, to Tom Petty enthusiasts; they’re free falling. The team is 2-8 over their last 10 games and the list of issues seems overwhelming. They can’t defend, the offense can’t find consistency, and players are complaining to the media. With the Feb. 8 trade deadline looming, inaction is inexcusable.
According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, he has heard that the Cavs are guaranteed to make at least one trade this year:
One trusted source pulled me aside at the @nbagleague Showcase last week in suburban Toronto and insisted that the Cavs will "definitely" swing at least one deal before the Feb. 8 trade deadline. But is there really one deal out there that closes this gap?— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) January 16, 2018
With the team in flux, and an organization that isn’t known for patience, it seems like almost anything is on the table. Well, almost everything. We know that LeBron James is unwilling to waive his no trade clause this season, and by all reports it seems just as unlikely for the team to move the Brooklyn Nets first round pick.
Outside of that, it’s unlikely that anybody on the roster is safe. To ponder Stein’s question, it’s hard to imagine there is one single move or player out there that would make the team a title favorite in June. They can position themselves better to pull off an upset and get near the same talent level. But one of the things that makes Golden State so dangerous is how well the talent fits together and the chemistry that they have. Chemistry that is unlikely to be present on a team that hit the mid-season reset button.
The Cavs still probably have what it takes to make the Finals. So the hope likely is that they can upgrade the roster enough to ensure another Finals appearance, as well as set themselves up as the best basketball option for LeBron in free agency. Anything beyond that is likely a long-shot.